Thursday, 15th April 2021

A pint of whelks, and other reasons Britain is shit at street food

BRITAIN now enjoys the incredible street food of a host of nations, which is fantastic because ours is shit. These are the vile things we eat with our fingers: 

Pint of whelks

The Victorians did many great things for Britain, though perhaps on reflection not so for other countries. But deciding that consuming several dozen chewy sea molluscs constituted a tasty meal was a crime against humanity, and the same goes for cockles and any other rubbery sea-dwelling invertebrates.

Pork pie

A picnic staple, which says a lot about picnics. Most right-thinking people have long realised that a lump of suspicious ham wrapped in slimy jelly and encased in a tomb of pastry is deeply wrong. All they’ve got going for them as street food is that they can be shoved in a handbag or pocket without fear of disintegration.

Fish and chips

Despite coming wrapped in paper, fish and chips don’t work as street food because there’s too much of them. Rather than being a light snack to eat on your way somewhere, this is a massive meal that requires the commandeering of a bench and its hosing down to clear the vinegar and grease afterwards.

A ’99’

Purchased from a van and designed to be eaten on the move, the ’99’ is the pinnacle of British street food innovation. However, when compared to the myriad flavours of Italian gelato, a Mr Whippy dripping with sauce reminiscent of fake blood just isn’t that impressive.

Jellied eels

Fancy consuming the disturbingly soft flesh of a long, sinuous sea-snake suspended in spicy jelly? Sounds foul and tastes foul, whatever some trendy Hoxton hipster will try to tell you as he sells you a plate for an eye-watering £14.50 at a farmers’ market when you’re hungover.